The Treatwell

The A-Z of beauty. Buzzwords, ingredients, trending treatments – our Treatwell experts have pulled together an easy-to-read glossary that spells it all out (literally).

glossary icon Glossary

The Treatwell

glossary icon Glossary

The A-Z of beauty. Buzzwords, ingredients, trending treatments – our Treatwell experts have pulled together an easy-to-read glossary that spells it all out (literally).

Click a letter to find the word you're looking for

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a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Aa_is_for

faceFace

Active ingredients

(Ack-tiv in-greed-eeunts)

Not to be confused with...

Ingredients that actually do stuff

It’s the bit you’re paying for in your skincare routine. They're ingredients proven to change the function of the body in some way. Glycolic acid is a good example.

hairHair

Blunt cut

(Blunt-cut)

Not to be confused with...

An intense paper cut

A straight cut. Hair sliced across with scissors, no layers or choppiness. Looks great at bob length. Also good for adding (the illusion of) thickness.

Find out more

hairHair

Bob

(Bob)

Not to be confused with...

Your nextdoor neighbour

A short haircut. It's usually cut around the jawline and frames the face. If you were a child in the 90s, you'll know this cut well.

Bookable on Treatwell

B_is__for

hairHair

Balayage

(Bal-ee-arj)

Not to be confused with...

Fancy highlights

Stylist paints on bleach, or tint, for a naturally-blended look. The technique usually leaves a gap at the root and is lighter in tone at the ends of the hair.

Bookable on Treatwell

balayage
C_is_forr

faceFace

Complexion

(Com-pleck-shun)

Not to be confused with...

The colour of foundation you need

The appearance of your skin. Can be described as bright, dewy, or hungover.

faceFace

Collagen

(Coll-ah-jin)

Not to be confused with...

The stuff that makes plumping lipgloss BURN

It’s a wrinkle-preventing protein (inside the body) that keeps skin looking plump but decreases as we age. Facial massage can help stimulate its production. *Starts rubbing face immediately*.

nailsNails

Cuticles

(Cue-tickles)

Not to be confused with...

That little moon shape on your nail

The bit of skin around your nail bed that gets pushed back, or removed, during a mani. Its job is to prevent infection as your nails grow.

Find out more

c3

bodyBody

Cryopolis

(Cry-op-ollis)

Not to be confused with...

A phobia of crying in public

It’s a non-surgical treatment that literally freezes fat. A cooling machine sucks areas of the skin for around two hours and, over 2-3 months, those fat cells die.

Bookable on Treatwell

nailsNails

Coffin nails

(Coff-in nails)

Not to be confused with...

Halloween nails

A way of shaping nails (also known as 'ballerina'). Nails are filed towards the centre then flat and squared off at the tips to be, literally, coffin-shaped.

Bookable on Treatwell

faceFace

Combination skin

(Com-bin-ay-shun skin)

Not to be confused with...

Something to do with Jeepers Creepers

Some parts of your face are dry, other parts are oily. Usually, the T zone (forehead, nose and chin), are the oily sections.

Have more fun terms for us to explain? DM us on Instagram @treatwell_uk

faceFace

Dehydrated

(Dee-high-dray-ted)

Not to be confused with...

A symptom of Sunday mornings

Skin that’s lacking moisture, usually caused by factors like diet, skincare or weather (yep, really). Dehydrated skin sometimes produces excess oil to compensate for dryness.

D_is_for

faceFace

Dermaplaning

(Derm-ah-plane-ing)

Not to be confused with...

How skincare lovers travel

The exfoliating treatment works by scraping dead cells (and fine hairs) from the skin’s surface with a surgical scalpel. It helps skincare products absorb more easily.

Find out more

E_is_for

faceFace

Extraction

(Ex-trac-shun)

Not to be confused with...

A waste removal service

Clearing out the gunk that’s clogging your pores, usually using an extracting tool. Basically, it’s professional spot squeezing.

hairHair

Foils

(Foyls)

Not to be confused with...

The stuff you wrap a sandwich in

Hair foils are used to seperate strands from the rest of the hair, this keeps the colour in one place. If you're booked in for highlights, you should expect foils.

F_is_for
gis_for

faceFace

Glycolic acid

(Gly-collic assid)

Not to be confused with...

The stuff you put in cars

An ‘AHA’. Works by removing the top layer of dead skin cells (pollution, makeup, and other pore-clogging stuff too) through natural exfoliation.

hairHair

Half-head

(Harf-hed)

Not to be confused with...

That villain from Batman

Usually highlights. A high lift tint or bleach is applied mainly to the crown and sides, also usually the top layer of hair.

faceFace

Hylaronic Acid

(High-luh-ronic assid)

Not to be confused with...

The main ingredient in Cilit Bang

Helps skin to retain and regulate its natural hydration and maintain elastacity (‘bounce’, basically). It’s like a super strength moisturiser that works on all skin types.

 

H_is_for
h4

hairHair

Highlights

(High-lights)

Not to be confused with...

Bleaching thin sections of your hair 

Hair lightened in sections (full head, half head, or just a T section) using bleach or tint. Adds different tones and looks far less Atomic Kitten than it used to.

Bookable on Treatwell

Have more fun terms for us to explain? DM us on Instagram @treatwell_uk

K_is_for

massageMassage

Knots

(Nots)

Not to be confused with...

Something you learn to do at Brownies

They're essentially tightened muscle fibres that just can't relax. Think hard, painful lumps within the muscle that can be sensitive to touch.

hairHair

Layered (hair)

(Lay-erd)

Not to be confused with...

Hair cut short at the front and long at the back

Hair cut at different lengths to add texture and volume. The opposite of a blunt or sharp cut. Think Sienna Miller.

hairHair

Lob

(Lob)

Not to be confused with...

A shotput technique

A bob, but a bit longer. Hair that sits on your shoulders – you probably know it as the ‘awkward length’.

Find out more

L_is-_for
L3
Pis_for

faceFace

Peel

(Peel)

Not to be confused with...

The bit of a satsuma you don't eat

A peel causes the top layers of skin to shed. They range in strength from gentle (good for sensitive skin), to medical grade – for anyone with more severe skin concerns.

Bookable on Treatwell

faceFace

Parabens

(Para-bens)

Not to be confused with...

That thing you forgot in GCSE science.

The bad stuff in skincare (that everyone swears they’re not using). They’re added to prevent the growth of bacteria but, within the body, can affect your hormones.

faceFace

Salicylic acid

(Sal-uh-sill-ic assid)

Not to be confused with...

Something you slurp halfway through a marathon

The 'superhero acid' that exfoliates the surface of your skin and unclogs pores. Try it if acne-prone or oily. It can also reduce skin inflammation.

waxHair removal

Sugaring

(Shug-a-ring)

Not to be confused with...

A donut topping

Sugar, water and honey are heated together to make a gooey mixture. That’s rubbed in circles across the skin to pull the hair out and - bonus - it exfoliates.

Bookable on Treatwell

S_is_for

hairHair

Semi-permanent hair colour

(Sem-ee perm-ah-nent)

Not to be confused with...

Hair dye that won't stick around

Low-maintenance, low-commitment colour. There are no active ingredients (like ammonia or peroxide), so the dye can’t penetrate the hair for a long-term change. Lasts around three weeks.

Bookable on Treatwell

nailsNails

SNS

(Ess-en-ess)

Not to be confused with...

An SMS from your nan

It's a type of manicure. Nails are 'dipped' in the color, which comes in a pot of sherbet-like powder, instead of painted. The process is repeated until the colour is just right.

Bookable on Treatwell

faceFace

Strobing

(Strobe-ing)

Not to be confused with...

Getting lost in a techno club

Highlighting the parts of your face that hit the light. Makes you look lit and dewy AF.

T_is_for

faceFace

T-zone

(Tee zone)

Not to be confused with...

Best places to find a good cuppa

As if you've drawn a T on your face across the forehead, nose and chin. Think Friends, episode 17.

hairHair

Tapering

(Tape-ering)

Not to be confused with...

Something you'd do with your pants

Not the same as a fade. A tapered cut follows the shape of the head from short to medium length hair. It's up to you how the bit up-top is styled.

Find out more

hairHair

Undercut

(Un-der cut)

Not to be confused with...

A boxing move

Hair shaved at the back and sides, with length left on top.

Bookable on Treatwell

Uis_for
W_is_for

hairHair

Wob

(Wob)

Not to be confused with...

A wonky bob

A wavy bob. Hair is the same length as a regular bob, but it’s styled in waves.

Find out more

Have more fun terms for us to explain? DM us on Instagram @treatwell_uk